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3 Minutes Read

How Can I Move Past Shame About my Sexuality?

If you’ve ever felt discomfort or shame about your sexuality, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, anti-sex and anti-sexuality messages are still prevalent in today’s age, and they are all too easy to internalize. This is particularly true for women and LGBTQ people, as well as those with cultural and religious backgrounds with teachings that condemn certain sexual experiences.

However, you don’t have to resign yourself to feeling sexual shame. With self-reflection, growth, and healing, you can shape a different relationship with your sexuality that feels more comfortable and fulfilling for you.

Find the origins of shame

Reflect on what experiences you’ve had that sent you the message that sex or your sexuality is something to be ashamed about. Have you had negative encounters with past partners who were critical of your body? Do you often spend time with friends or family members that voice judgment for choices other people make about their sex lives? Even if you disagree with those voices, they might still be echoing somewhere in your mind. Make the decision to stop listening to them once and for all.

Break down the everyday messages about sexuality you receive in your local and social environment. For example, how sex is portrayed in mainstream media, the teachings around sexuality in your religious background, and the cultural assumptions about the sexuality of someone of your gender, sexual orientation, size, etc. Are these subtle (or not so subtle) messages uplifting, or hurtful? In what ways do they impact how you feel about yourself, and your sexuality?

Explore your own values

Once you have a better understanding of the baggage around sexuality that has been handed to you, think critically about what YOU believe and value when it comes to sex. When you’re honest with yourself, you may find that your ideas about sex are similar to those of your friends, family, and community, or somewhat different - or even not at all the same.

To discover your authentic beliefs and values, ask yourself questions such as:

  • What place do I want sexuality to have in my life and relationships?
  • What do I look for in a sexual partner?
  • What do healthy boundaries around sex and sexuality look like for me?
  • Who am I comfortable discussing sex with? Who would I prefer not to discuss sex with?

Curate what messages you keep around you

Limit your intake of shaming messages about sexuality. Set hard limits with friends and family who criticize your sexuality. Think critically about whether you’re willing to maintain close ties with religious communities or other groups that disparage you simply based on your sexual experience or sexual orientation.

Build relationships with people who share similar values about sex and sexuality. Help yourself feel at home in your new understanding of sexuality by continuing to learn and grow, through reading books, listening to podcasts, and connecting with other affirming media. 

How therapy can help

Unpacking your baggage around sexuality takes courage. It can be really helpful to have someone supporting you along your journey, particularly a therapist. If you’re interested in learning more about how therapy can guide you in this process, click the button below to schedule a free phone consultation. You deserve to experience your sexuality as a source of joy.


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